I love taking a look back at the end of each year, so today I’ve compiled some of my favorite moments from this year’s episodes to share with you! Get ready for powerful bite sized insights from all of our fantastic guests in 2022. If you’d like to go deeper into any of these conversations, be sure to visit the original episodes!
Thank you so much for joining me for a wonderful first year of The Sober Mom Life podcast! I can’t wait to see where we go as a community in 2023.
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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hi, welcome to the Sober Mom Life podcast. I’m your host Suzanne of my kind of suite and the sober mom life on Instagram. If you are a mama who has questioned your relationship with alcohol at times, if you’re wondering if maybe it’s making motherhood harder, this is for you. I will be having candid, honest, funny conversations with other moms who have also thought, Hmm, maybe motherhood is better without alcohol. Is it possible we’ll chat and we’ll talk about all things sobriety and how we’ve found freedom in sobriety. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. You don’t have to either. And maybe life is brighter without alcohol. I hope you will join us on this journey and I’m so excited to get started.
Hello, welcome to the last episode of the year. That is so hard to believe, as we tend to do at the end of the year. We’re gonna look back and we’re gonna listen to some of my favorite moments from our episode. So far, we’ve had so many wonderful guests who were just so, so vulnerable and willing to share their stories and what they’ve learned in sobriety. So I hope that you like this. I love a good look back. I love our retrospective. That’s what this is. So I hope you enjoy and I hope you’re taking some time to really look back at your year and see what you wanna leave in 2022, what you wanna bring into 2023. And I can’t wait for you to join me in the new year and I know it’ll be great. So here is the best of episode. First step, we have Katie Rex Sing from episode number one. Katie was my first guest.
Speaker 2 (01:58):
I think motherhood kind of forced me into that, like just becoming aware of how I take care of myself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I started being more conscious of what I ate. I started being more conscious of just like movement and meditating, and I was practicing yoga. And it was so interesting to me because on one aspect of my life, I was leading this like really healthy, mindful life, like really intentional with all of my choices. And yet alcohol was still a part of it, right? And I just, for whatever reason, it was that one thing that I just didn’t question. It was like, I mean, I would question whether I ate a piece of pizza. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> until like the cows came home. But like, I’d have a glass of wine with no problem. I would eat like a vegan slice of pizza. <laugh>. What was a glass of rose?
Do you know what I mean? It was like, it was weird. I just gave alcohol a pass and it took me a while. I, you know, I had done a, a lot of cleanses over the years where I’d take like a month off of drinking and I would feel so good. And it wasn’t the month off of drinking. That was the hard part. It was that re-entry back in. Totally. And then it would like feel, I don’t know, I would just like have like a really bad hangover after like one or two lessons of wine and,
Speaker 1 (03:06):
And you would feel like you have to get back. Like, I just have to get past this hard part.
Speaker 2 (03:10):
Yes. And like you go out to eat and people would be like, oh, why aren’t you drinking? And like, oh, I’d have to explain it. It was always this like weird thing, but it actually wasn’t like the month off of drinking. It was everything else around it that felt hard. And I had done this for years where I had seen other people like, stop drinking it. And it felt so radical to me. I was like, wow, why did you know that’s, that’s crazy. I, I can never, I couldn’t picture myself. And yet there was a part of me that was kind of envious, like jealous almost, of like, I wish I could do something like that. But it just didn’t seem, it seemed overwhelming. And I had toyed with the idea of, you know, just going for like, maybe I do like two months where I don’t drink.
And it was, it was weird Susan. It wasn’t like a planned thing per se. I just like, remember this, we had gone to California over Covid V and when we were in California for two months, I think I probably drank, I’m not gonna say every day, but it was at least every other, and it was just a glass of wine here or a glass of wine there. And I came home and I felt like shit. And I was like, you know what? And it was right around the holidays, I was like, this is it. And it was New Year’s Eve. We were at my parents’ house in Ohio. I was drinking a warm glass of Chardonnay that wasn’t even good. Yeah. And it was like this glass. And I was like, why am I doing this? I just, why am I doing this Back and forth? I’m like, I knew in the back of my mind it wasn’t doing me any good. And I looked at Jean Paul and I like, it wasn’t premeditated, there was no like thought behind it. And I just looked at him and I was like, I’m done. This is my last drink. I poured it down the glass, down the drain. I sat the glass down, I went to bed, never thinking that that was actually gonna be my last strength.
Speaker 1 (04:42):
Right. Never being like, what did I just
Speaker 2 (04:44):
Say? Yeah. It wasn’t that like premeditated, I think had, I thought I was never really gonna drink again. It would’ve felt too overwhelming. I just totally think in the back of my mind I meant like, well, for this month or maybe for a couple
Speaker 1 (04:55):
Weeks. Well cuz how could you ever say you’re not gonna do anything ever again? I don’t know how. Yeah. Anyone can kind of wrap their minds around that.
Speaker 2 (05:03):
Yeah. Yeah. So that was a year and a half ago. Listen, I’m, I feel the healthiest I’ve ever felt in my life. This is something I wish I would’ve done years ago. It felt the first month, I don’t think I understood the gravity of it. It was just like, I’m just not gonna drink. It was almost kinda like my body was like deep puffing. Just getting back to like, it really took a couple of months to feel like back to like equilibrium, if that makes any sense. Like mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And once I felt that, I was like, oh, so this is what it feels like to wake up with energy.
Speaker 1 (05:33):
Yeah. Like this is how I’m designed to feel.
Speaker 2 (05:36):
This is how I’m designed to feel. Yeah. But I had never felt that in my adult life because even if I went, like, I mean I think the longest I’d ever gone without alcohol was a month. And so it was really powerful.
Speaker 1 (05:49):
That’s amazing. And I, I think those months off, because I think people do that right? Like sober October. Yes. Or like dry January or whatever it is. You know, you could see the benefits of that, of like, okay, I’m gonna just stop this and kind of detox. But then you kind of don’t reap the benefits of sobriety. It’s like you do that first. I’d say probably the first month is just the hardest as far as like habits. You go through that first hard month and then you go back to it and you’re like, no. Like just if you keep going,
Speaker 2 (06:19):
No, I could not agree more. It’s almost like had I known, I would’ve been like, why are you even doing this? Because it really was like you were just getting to the good stuff at that 30 days. Like, and then you get to the good stuff and you’re like, oh, now I get it. And that’s when the power started snowballing. And I felt empowered. I felt more confident in, in myself. And it’s funny cuz it was really like after like four or five months I stopped thinking about it
Speaker 1 (06:46):
From episode number four, my best friend of 42 years, Kate Olson of the Mindful Librarian.
Speaker 3 (06:56):
And it’s interesting because, so you had kids so young and that kind of was like thwarted that kind of, you know, the, the drinking and like the softball, that Wisconsin’s drinking scene that was kind of cut short. And so then you kind of mm-hmm. <affirmative> still try to figure out how alcohol can play a role while you’re still a mom. And that’s what I ran into once I got married. And then we had a baby pretty quickly after that and it was like, wait, I no longer want to party. Like, but is there a role for alcohol and motherhood? Like h how does this fit into it? So I think that kind of trying to figure that out is interesting. And I think that that’s where that mommy wine culture comes in. Because I, I think all moms are trying, especially with the pandemic are trying to be like, well I kind of grew up turning to alcohol to escape. Do we still do that? And I think that everyone comes to their own conclusion, mine and yours were no <laugh>. Well
Speaker 4 (07:56):
I think too, given that I am always trying to take care of everybody and making sure, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah. And I think for me, one of the big reasons I ever even started drinking and why I would binge drink was to fit in. Because I’m not naturally someone who can stay out late. I’m not naturally one who can just lose all my inhibitions cause I’m too worried about Yes. Feeling controlled and, and taking care of myself and not getting in trouble and all that stuff. So alcohol is the only way I could do that, you know? And then eventually I think I just, I think I grew into the age I always was, if that makes sense. Like Totally. I think <laugh>, you
Speaker 3 (08:32):
Were always a 40 year
Speaker 4 (08:34):
Old. I was always a 40 year old. And so thank God I can finally just be one now. Yeah. Yeah. And, and then I’ll still like from now on, I’m gonna be young at heart. And so That’s
Speaker 3 (08:43):
Right. <laugh>. Yeah. You’ll just remain 40.
Speaker 4 (08:47):
I’m always going to be 40. I’m never like, oh, I always feel eight at heart. Nope. No, I’ve always been 40. 40. And so yeah. So I think that truly, it’s just like finally it’s at, I’m at a life stage by surrounded by contemporaries where not partying was finally something that was an acceptable choice. Yeah. Because I, I remember even like when I first tasted beer, I’m like, I remember being like, I hate this so much. I have to drink at least four before I can not taste it anymore. Which is like the most disgusting thought ever. Tell taste like water
Speaker 1 (09:21):
From episode number five. We have Emily Lynn Paulson,
Speaker 5 (09:26):
There’s this idea too of like, oh, you know, I didn’t come from alcoholics, quote unquote. Like I, you know, it’s a genetic thing. Some people have it, some people don’t. And, and I think I wanna challenge that narrative a lot too, because yes, there’s a ton to be said about if you grow up in a family where alcohol is used, problematically, you know, you’re going to have a tendency to do that yourself. But also what are we saying to kids if we behave one way and say another thing? Uh, another thing, you know, if we’re including alcohol at every function and showing kids that it’s necessary, you know, at a kid’s birthday party and at, you know, like, what are we showing kids? It doesn’t matter if you don’t drink it. It doesn’t matter if you only have one. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you only drink once in a while, but what are you showing your kids and, and what messages are you sending? And also about their own worth, right? That mommy needs to drink because I am difficult
Speaker 1 (10:24):
Because you’re hard. That’s a very damaging message. I, alcohol is just so normalized that it just seeps in, it seeps into just everything. And we don’t even realize what our kids are seeing and hearing every day.
Speaker 5 (10:39):
And, and it goes into the, the informed consent piece of it too. Again, because I don’t, I’m not a prohibitionist, I don’t care if alcohol’s legal, legal, like that’s not, I don’t care if you drink or not. That’s not my thing. It’s, it’s, let’s understand that it’s a carcinogenic dangerous substance and let’s treat it that way instead of like this lifeblood. And, and again, like we serve it at the end of marathons, we serve it during yoga. Like, like what are we doing that, you know, they don’t understand that it’s how dangerous it is that it’s the most dangerous drug. And if you still decide to pick up a drink, good on you. Who cares? Go for it. But let’s just make sure we’re, we’re telling the right story about what it actually is.
Speaker 1 (11:24):
Yeah. Let’s call it what it is. Let’s stop pretending that it’s, it’s a way to escape and to help anxiety and to help moms unwind. I mean, I mean, if if moms still wanna drink, like go out and drink, that’s, yeah. Like you said, like that’s, that’s fine. But l let’s not continue to perpetuate this message that it’s a way to make motherhood easier. I definitely don’t think so. Motherhood is hard enough. Dude, <laugh>,
Speaker 5 (11:50):
It is hard. And again, like, like I said, I I, I thought it made me a better parent. And the reason I thought that is A, everyone around me was telling me that. And B, it was numbing all of the joy because you can’t, you know, I think it’s Brene Brown who says like, you can’t numb the bad and not the good. She says it way more eloquently, but something like that.
Speaker 1 (12:10):
Yeah, you can’t selectively numb. So you can’t just be like, I wanna not feel the hard parts, but I wanna remember the good parts. And I think that you don’t even realize what small moments you’re missing until you stop drinking. And then you really start to see those, like, I remember that on my first sober 4th of July, just looking around on my kids, like playing with sparkler and like all these little tiny moments that would are just gone in a second that I would’ve completely missed. Episode number seven, Joti Chan.
Speaker 6 (12:44):
I thought that wine was easing my anxiety, but it was actually worsening my anxiety this entire time. Everything I went to bed on time, I was sleeping better. I think just overall my creativity was just blown away. Like, I was like so creative, my brain like unlocked. I thought drinking and substances were supposed to make you more creative, like those like cool artists type. But no, no, no, not at all. Like my writing got so much better. And then I also had a hundred thousand followers in that span of time cuz I was just producing content like a mad woman. So I will say my life has changed greatly from the day I got sober until now. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all. I think that the reason that I am successful at what I’m doing and at my creative arts and you know, signed with an agency for influencer stuff too and like is because I have the focus to do it and I’m not inviting alcohol to every aspect of my life.
Speaker 1 (13:38):
And that brain power that you used that used to be taken up by alcohol even when you weren’t drinking, right? So when you were either getting ready to drink, deciding if you should drink, if you shouldn’t, all of that then was freed up too.
Speaker 6 (13:51):
I can’t wait to drink or am I gonna have a drink tonight? Oh wait, who’s gonna drive? If I’m drinking Amaya, how many am I gonna have? And who’s driving? Should I Uber? Yes.
Speaker 1 (13:59):
All that pressure and that gymnastics. Yeah. And talk about anxiety. I mean that’s, that is so much anxiety.
Speaker 6 (14:07):
And then the guilt, right? When you say, oh, I’m not gonna drink tonight and you end up hungover the next day. The amount of guilt I knew I shouldn’t have drink drinks. I have so much to do today, now I’m gonna get nothing done. And it’s just a cycle. It’s a vicious cycle. And once you break it, once you step out of the cycle and you’re like, I’m done. Like your life will change.
Speaker 1 (14:30):
Episode number eight, Jen Hurst.
Speaker 7 (14:33):
I lived in the silver closet for four years and I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t share about it. That’s just how I was brought up. And I went through the flow. I went to treatment three times inpatient, I went to outpatient like nine times. And, and so I was brought into this, this culture where you don’t say anything only in the rooms and what stays in the rooms stays in the rooms. You don’t share it. So I just felt, yeah, I felt no one cared. I felt alone in my sobriety. I was kind of living a dry, drunk lifestyle. So when I started coming out, it’s just, it was amazing how freeing that is. Create an example for the people that come behind us, be the lighthouse and light the way for others. And that’s what I tell the women in my group. You don’t have to tell people, you don’t have to wish someone to change or shout sobriety from the rooftops unless you’d like to. You just need to shine the light, shine your like at the, and it’s so cool to see women get their spark back and to go from crying in the beginning to like laughing full on. So happy you see the light comes on again and they’re back. But not only back, but now they’re so much stronger because of what they’ve went through.
Speaker 1 (15:50):
Episode number 10, my husband Russell, I wanna know how it is for you because like you mentioned, you are still drinking a little bit. I will say that your drinking has drastically decreased too, even when you do go out and, you know, I’ve set a boundary, which I always tell other sober moms or or sober women whose husbands are still drinking. Like everyone has to come to what is comfortable for them. For me, you know, you and I have agreed two, two beers, like when you’re out two beers feels fine to me. And if you’re coming home, you know, if you’re, if you’re coming home like that night, which you normally do, I think anymore does feel scary to me. And that’s probably like a product of how I grew up. It feels a little bit like I don’t know what to expect and I can’t connect in a whole different level. Even if we’re out. Like if we’re out at a party and you’re gonna drink, we agree on those two beers that’s like, I’m fine with that. Yeah. So how, how do you feel about that? Like how do you feel about my boundary? How do you feel about your drinking?
Speaker 8 (17:03):
Well, if I’m to be honest, obviously I, I don’t love being told or limits being put on anything <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (17:12):
You just hate being Joel what to do. I
Speaker 8 (17:14):
Do what I won’t.
Speaker 1 (17:15):
<laugh> uhhuh <affirmative> you guys, this is a guy who didn’t get married until his forties. So you have to remember he’s a married late forties strong. Yeah, no, a mid forties. Okay. He was, yeah, he’s a strong-willed guy. So if your husband, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, oh, my husband would never go for that, let me tell you, my husband would’ve never gone for that. You have to remember too, I didn’t like, I did not have this all figured out when I stopped drinking. No, I wasn’t like, oh, I have an idea, I’ll stop drinking, then his drinking will decrease because he’ll see how great sobriety is for me and then I’ll set a, a boundary for him and then he’ll follow it <laugh> like that. That’s just not how it happens. This might sound selfish, but I didn’t think about you when I stopped drinking. I just thought about our marriage as a byproduct of how it would affect it. Yeah. But my goal in stopping drinking had to just be about me. Episode number 11, Erin Chalo of Raw Beauty Talks.
Speaker 9 (18:15):
I don’t want it to ever feel like handcuffs. Yes. And because I wasn’t somebody who drank and, you know, hurt other people or hurt myself in ways that I could never come back from. If I want to or choose to at some point in my life, have a drink here or there, then that’s what I’ll do. I, it’s just, yeah, for me it’s just not right in this season. But again, sobriety’s gonna look different for everyone. And it’s the same for meditation. I’m finding it really helpful right now to say to myself, my family, my kids, my husband, I’m meditating every day. It’s a non-negotiable in my life. And I’ve had some pretty wild anxiety over the last couple of years. Um, so they’re supportive in knowing that I need to take care of myself so I can show up for other people and to show up for them. Yeah, for sure. And so the meditation is really powerful in rewiring our neural pathways, supporting me and welcoming more peace into my life. Really deconstructing thought patterns that are holding me back from finding peace and growth in certain areas. Yeah. And so just knowing I’m gonna do it every day, kind of like sobriety, it’s like I’m just doing this every day.
Speaker 1 (19:27):
Speaker 9 (19:28):
It takes the questioning out. It takes the questioning. And this is actually a big piece of my sobriety thing as well. There were some questions at the beginning like, why don’t you just cut back? And I said, because then it creates this dialogue of back and forth in my head, am I going to, how much am I gonna have? Yes. Should I do it tonight? What? Then I have that other thing coming up in the weekend. I’m like, I don’t have time for that mental chatter.
Speaker 1 (19:51):
Totally. It’s so much.
Speaker 9 (19:52):
My husband’s like, what, what is this mental chatter? What is this voice in your head? I’m like, what are you talking about? He’s like, I don’t have that
Speaker 1 (19:58):
Voice. Oh my God, I have guys.
Speaker 9 (20:00):
I’m like, that voice is always on in my head. <laugh>
Speaker 1 (20:04):
So many voices. <laugh> so many, like, I feel like yeah, men, men probably don’t, you know what I mean? Like, they’re just very compartmentalized. I know, I’m generalizing. Yeah. But still, like, I think all women, especially moms listening right now, know exactly the voices you’re talking
Speaker 9 (20:21):
About. I’m like, there’s just too much chatter I, I need, I’ve got decision fatigue and I need to simplify things. So it’s like, yes, it’s not, am I going to meditate today? It’s when am I going to, and how, like where am I fitting that in? And it’s not even, am I gonna have a drink tonight when we go to that thing? I’m just not. So that’s simplifying things and cutting out the mental chatter. <laugh>
Speaker 1 (20:45):
Episode number 12, my brother Jay Noer,
Speaker 10 (20:49):
I’ve been really about self-improvement lately. And, and I mean, talk about taking a big thing off the table that, you know Yeah. That doesn’t help.
Speaker 1 (20:59):
Nothing gets worse when you stop drinking. I mean, in the short term, yes. Like you might have cravings, you might, your anxiety might go up a little right away before you kind of find your tools to deal with all the shit. Cuz bad feelings and hard feelings and all that stuff does come up. But in the long term, nothing gets worse if you stop drinking.
Speaker 10 (21:21):
I could see the social stuff getting worse. I like, I’m not a real social person. I don’t like go out to to, you know, dinner a lot. I don’t go out to, I don’t go to other people’s houses for dinner. I don’t go out to, I never really went out to bars that much. I wasn’t like a bar guy, but like, if that was your life, I think that would be hard.
Speaker 1 (21:43):
Yeah. I think it is until you find tools to like, help manage that, whether it’s a mocktail or finding other people who
Speaker 10 (21:51):
A different group of
Speaker 1 (21:52):
Friends. Yeah. Finding other people who don’t prioritize alcohol over connection. I, I think until you kind of find your way, it’s, it’s tough. It’s not as tough as a brutal hangover though. No. Like it’s just not, it’s just, yeah, there’s some growing pains and trying to figure out what life is gonna look like now. But I think even with your, like you’re not social in the like going up to the restaurant thing, but your cl whole climbing circle and all of that, that is a very, like your social stuff takes place at the cliff. Yeah. Or like post climbing. Like you guys would ha probably have beers and stuff like that. So, so you are kind of having to figure out how to deal with that without that stuff, without alcohol.
Speaker 10 (22:29):
Yeah. But then I could be like, nah, I’m not drinking anymore. And everybody’s like, ugh, <laugh> like, oh, I know. Everybody’s like, everybody says like, oh well yeah, you know, I should stop too. Or I’m only having a beer at once, once a week or whatever. So like, yes, this power dynamic like is shifted because I feel like the peer pressure goes the other direction then
Speaker 1 (22:51):
It totally does. Like every time I tell somebody I’m sober, they immediately are like thinking about their alcohol intake and then like, feeling self-conscious. I mean, that’s not why I say it. I’m not trying to be like, Hey, yeah, look at me, this is better.
Speaker 10 (23:08):
But that is why I say it
Speaker 1 (23:10):
<laugh>, that’s why Jay says it. That does just go to show you though that anyone’s response to your sobriety is 100% about their relationship with alcohol and what they think about it. It’s never about yours. It’s 100% about, they immediately then go to, oh shit, am I drinking too much? Or Oh yeah, I’ve been wanting to cut back too. Or if they’re in denial about their drinking or if they don’t wanna stop, whatever it is, it’s just always about them. Episode number 14, Michelle Smith of recovery is the new black
Speaker 11 (23:45):
Somebody wise in the, in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous that, you know, with the time you walk into the rooms and the, the time it takes you to get into inpatient treatment and leave like the whatever it takes, right? It is literally you’re hearing the same thing. It’s the only differences is you’re ready to hear it. You’re ready to embrace the fact that my life is better without alcohol in it and it is costing me more than it is providing me. And there is nothing healthy that this substance is doing to better my life, my mental health or my family structure. And those are the questions I’m so empowered to ask people because putting yourself into a box and and getting a label attached to your forehead is very stigmatizing to people and it makes you feel small. Yeah. I am absolutely an alcoholic. I can admit that I do participate in alcoholics synonymous at some level, but I have so many other multifactors that I call pathways to recovery and patchwork that depending on the season for me is what I’m needing more of. Whether that’s mental health or you know, religion or, you know, whatever it is that keeps me motivated to living my truth and showing up to live my best life. So that’s gonna look different. But you know, I think it’s just that moment that you are ready to hear, you’re seeing the impact that this substance is having on you and the people that you love and people like you and I were saying, you know what, for the health of it,
Speaker 1 (25:18):
Speaker 11 (25:19):
Don’t have to drink, you know, and having the Cancer Society come out, the American Cancer Society, no amount of alcohol is good for you. So these doctors are not gonna say a glass of wine is great for you. And if they do run
Speaker 1 (25:35):
Episode number 15, Jill Tights of sober powered.
Speaker 12 (25:40):
So we all have like the, this baseline serotonin, let’s pretend on a scale of one to a hundred, it’s like fiftys your baseline, but everybody’s different.
Speaker 1 (25:50):
Okay. Might try like 30 <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 12 (25:53):
Right. And that makes it even worse for us. And we’re more likely to struggle with alcohol because when you drink your serotonin shoots up. So maybe it goes from 30 to 80. Okay. And now you feel happy. And that’s why people describe themselves as happy drunks. And then if you see these same happy drunks at the end of the night, you’ll see these drunk girls crying in the bathroom.
Speaker 1 (26:18):
That was me. Same.
Speaker 12 (26:19):
I did it at the bar sometimes. So embarrassing.
Speaker 1 (26:22):
Yeah. Oh, because you don’t even realize where you are. And and my favorite is when it’s like a person that you like just met like 20 minutes ago and you’re like, you’re my new best friend
Speaker 12 (26:32):
<laugh>. And they’re like, please
Speaker 1 (26:32):
Leave <laugh>. They’re like, what’s your name again? <laugh>. This, this will
Speaker 12 (26:37):
Be a good story. I can tell my actual friends
Speaker 1 (26:40):
<laugh>. Yeah, exactly. Go away.
Speaker 12 (26:43):
Yeah. So towards the end of the night, your serotonin drops, but it doesn’t just drop back to normal, it drops below normal. Oh yeah. And that’s why you get really sad and cry. It’s just like a chemistry thing. It’s not like, because it’s not you. Right. It’s a chemistry thing. But what happens when you repeat the process over and over and over, your baseline starts to get lower and lower and lower. So if your baseline in the beginning was a 50, eventually your brain adapts, and now your baseline’s a 40 Oh. And then your baseline’s a 30
Speaker 1 (27:19):
And that’s when you’re not drinking. So that’s just like with everyday stuff now, now you’re not finding the joy in everyday stuff that you did
Speaker 12 (27:27):
Before. Yeah. And then you’re drinking just to get back to a 50 eventually.
Speaker 1 (27:32):
Oh. And then you’re gonna drop
Speaker 12 (27:34):
Below it, so not even to be happy. Yeah. And then it, it keeps feeding this cycle where you get this like little instant gratification thing of like coming back up and feeling better. Yeah. But then you, it it just makes it worse after. And then you are even worse than you were before. And that’s why it’s so common for people to be very suicidal at the end, both from the way that their brain adjusts to chronic heavy drinking, but also just because the low self-worth and low self-esteem. But it’s this chemistry thing where you just get so depressed and if you get super depressed over time, it’s, it’s just more likely that you’re gonna feel very suicidal.
Speaker 1 (28:17):
Speaker 12 (28:19):
Um, so that, so it’s not I’m a suicidal person anymore, it’s that I had all this adaptation that was making me very, very low and then I would be even lower when I would jolt awake in the middle of the night. Yes. I’d be like in the negatives
Speaker 1 (28:36):
<laugh>. Totally. In the negatives and sweating and heart racing and anxiety and like just
Speaker 12 (28:43):
Speaker 1 (28:44):
Oh God. And it’s not that like when you drink alcohol, you immediately feel down it’s that is it that first like 20 minutes of feeling like, oh, this is okay now this is, this feels good. Right. And then you’re just constantly trying to feel that way again. But it’s, you’re not gonna get there.
Speaker 12 (29:00):
Yeah. And that’s why we don’t think it’s the alcohol, because the alcohol fixes our problem for the first like hour.
Speaker 1 (29:08):
Speaker 12 (29:09):
You know, we feel calm, we feel happy again. Um, all of our problems don’t matter as much. And then as the alcohol wears off and you feel even worse, you think that’s you. But as the alcohol Yeah. And then we drink again because we think alcohol fixes, you know, it calms me down and makes me not hate myself. But then the, the drinking so much is causing all of those things, but we don’t connect the end of the story.
Speaker 1 (29:39):
Right. We, we don’t give alcohol the full picture. We’re like, oh, it’s the good part, but obviously the bad part it’s is me. Yep. That’s like, I always think about when I see a picture, like if someone takes a picture of myself and it’s a good angle, I’m like, oh, well that’s just a good angle. And if it’s a bad angle, I’m like, oh, well that’s me. That’s what I really look like. Yep. It’s like, well no, it’s it’s all the camera and you <laugh>.
Speaker 12 (30:02):
Exactly. Yeah. And, and we blame ourselves and then we think alcohol’s the only good thing. Like it’s our best friend, it’s the only thing that helps, but really it’s the thing that’s doing all of these bad or worsening, you know, if you started off with anxiety. Yeah, no, your anxiety’s probably a hundred times worse from all the drinking. And you know, you’ll see it in intolerance. Like as, you know, someone starts with one glass of wine to wind down. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, eventually they go to two and then they go to three. And that’s because their brain is adapting and they need more. So with, with anxiety, we said like, alcohol slows down your brain so your thoughts can’t race. And so things become less important. Messages aren’t being sent as quickly, but your brain wants to be normal and balanced. So it’s gonna do things to counteract mm-hmm. <affirmative> the alcohol. So it’s gonna speed up your brain. Basically.
Speaker 1 (31:00):
Episode number 16, featuring my mom,
Speaker 13 (31:05):
First of all, the diagnostic criteria has changed. And really just in the last four years, I think the new D s M came out. So the, it used to be there, there was a complete delineation. You were alcohol abuse mm-hmm. <affirmative> syndrome or, or alcohol dependence diagnostic. So the abuse would be not nearly so serious. You could, you know, let’s just tone it down a little bit mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then the dependence would be the more, we never used the word alcoholic. We never used the word, uh, addicted. That’s just not in the D S M dependence would be the, the criteria. So there was this delineation, it’s, it’s a problem or it is really not a problem, you just gotta tighten it up a little bit. And now Yeah, now it’s alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder. And so there’s just all on a gradient mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so it’s not so defined, it’s just, it’s a little muddier. And the one thing that hasn’t changed, I think for the way that I approach a client is I do say, and this is where you and I discuss this a lot mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I do say it’s only a problem if it’s a problem and you are the one who decides for yourself if it’s a problem. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. And so I as a therapist
Speaker 1 (32:24):
Yeah. You and I butt heads a little bit. Yeah. I mean, and this is what, this is what we always talk about because as a therapist, we, we, we just have totally different roles.
Speaker 13 (32:36):
Speaker 1 (32:36):
You as a therapist, you’re leading them to the water and that might take a long time. That’s right. And in, in the meantime, they’re still turning to alcohol to cope, de-stress, escape, all of these things. And you might see that, but you can’t really say that because then they’re gonna get defensive.
Speaker 13 (32:58):
That’s exactly right. That’s, that’s the difference in a, a therapist’s role versus anybody else in their life. Right?
Speaker 1 (33:05):
Speaker 13 (33:06):
So if I say, um, yeah, I think you have a drinking problem and I think you really need to get a handle on it. They’ve heard that from everybody. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, and they may have even thought it, but because everybody’s sort of on their case about it, they have to be in a defensive stance. Don’t tell me it’s that bad. It’s not that bad. Look it, I’m just a social drinker. Uh,
Speaker 1 (33:26):
You know, I’m a normal social drinker. Right. <laugh>. Right.
Speaker 13 (33:29):
Yeah. And so, um, I can’t go at them like that. I have to just have an open space for them to say. So there’s a thing called motivational interviewing, which is mm-hmm. <affirmative> the way that we approach these things as therapists. So if they say, I don’t have a drinking problem, you know, it doesn’t cause me any trouble, what one of the tactics is, I’ll say, well, yeah, it doesn’t cause you any troubles at all. I mean, from what I see, there’s not one thing that has gone wrong because of your drinking. And then that opens it up for them to say, well
Speaker 1 (34:04):
Yeah. And they’re like, well that’s not exactly true <laugh>. Right. Yeah. You guys, you think therapists don’t know what they’re doing. They do. And also if you think your therapist doesn’t think you’re full of shit, sometimes they do <laugh>.
Speaker 13 (34:16):
Right? That’s right.
Speaker 1 (34:16):
Like if you think you’re fooling your therapist, you’re not.
Speaker 13 (34:20):
That’s right. You know, and that, that’s an interesting thing about therapy overall is it’s not my job to question everything. Like, oh, I don’t believe anything you say you’re full of shit.
Speaker 1 (34:30):
Speaker 13 (34:30):
I mean, if I did that, I wouldn’t be effective
Speaker 1 (34:32):
At all. No, that would, you would be a horrible therapist, <laugh>. Right,
Speaker 13 (34:35):
Right. And believe me, I’ve seen therapists like that and one of the things that people are often really surprised at is when I say, what do you like about drinking? And then they sort of launch into, well, it’s bad cuz of this, it’s bad cuz of that. Because they think that’s what I wanna hear
Speaker 1 (34:50):
That you wanna hear. Yeah.
Speaker 13 (34:51):
But I wanna hear, what are you getting out of it? And if they say, well, when I’m bored, when I’m lonely, when I’m scared, when I’m anxious, when I’m depressed mm-hmm.
Speaker 1 (35:00):
Speaker 13 (35:00):
Okay. That’s what we need to talk about.
Speaker 1 (35:03):
Speaker 13 (35:03):
Let’s work on that stuff. Cuz there’s always a mental health component underneath it. Why are you drinking so much?
Speaker 1 (35:09):
Totally. It’s so interesting because like what, when you and I talk about, and you know, my approach, I, I’m not a therapist and I I <laugh> make it clear
Speaker 13 (35:17):
You don’t even play one on tv.
Speaker 1 (35:19):
No, I don’t, I don’t play one on the podcast <laugh>. And I say things that therapists can’t say.
Speaker 13 (35:25):
Speaker 1 (35:26):
I’m a place for the people to land who have already questioned their drinking because Yes. And I, I do think almost everyone has questioned their drinking <laugh>.
Speaker 13 (35:36):
Well certainly everyone that comes to you has,
Speaker 1 (35:39):
But do you know someone, can you think of someone? Are
Speaker 13 (35:42):
We naming names
Speaker 1 (35:44):
<laugh>? Yeah. I want their name and I want their social security number. <laugh>, I think I can think of one person in my life who hasn’t kind of either taken a break from drinking, been like, oh God, I drank too much last night. Which is a way for them to feel like, oh, I shouldn’t have done that. There’s some shame in there. Judgment, all of that. Yeah. I, I just don’t know anyone who hasn’t. Well I know one person,
Speaker 13 (36:08):
<laugh>. <laugh>. That’s pretty, pretty minimal. Yeah. Well certainly when they’re in my office, somebody has questioned they’re drinking even if it’s not them. Right.
Speaker 1 (36:17):
And don’t you think it is them?
Speaker 13 (36:19):
Yeah. I think in the, our heart of hearts, that’s where that motivational interviewing comes in. If I can just give them a safe space to actually express that maybe.
Speaker 1 (36:31):
Yeah. That’s why I think that podcasts like this and this naked mind and how to quit like a woman, all of those things are pair well with therapy because like, you’re not gonna get what you’ll get out of therapy. You’re not gonna get that from a podcast or an audio book. Like you, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna be able to talk with you about what’s really underneath your drinking because there is something underneath your drinking.
Speaker 13 (36:54):
Speaker 1 (36:56):
Episode number 17 with Dr. Brooks sheller, there’s all this focus on h how can we, our physical body be healthy? How can our minds be healthy? Alcohol just is generally not part of that conversation. It does. When you realize what alcohol does to you, it does seem crazy that we would do all these things and then wash it down with alcohol.
Speaker 14 (37:20):
And that’s the thing is if we are trying to achieve some type of health goal mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we’re consuming alcohol, that is the one thing that’s gonna be holding us back the most.
Speaker 1 (37:30):
Speaker 14 (37:31):
If you’re drinking alcohol, it doesn’t matter if you’re taking all of the supplements, you’re drinking, all of the juice you are working out every single day. If you’re drinking, that’s going to hold you back from receiving the progress that you’re looking for. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that goes for anything from, you know, you have low energy to hormone imbalance is another huge one. Infertility is associated with alcohol use. Um, menopause symptoms.
Speaker 1 (38:01):
Speaker 14 (38:02):
All the PMs.
Speaker 1 (38:03):
That’s huge. Like what woman does not struggle with p s like that. Yeah.
Speaker 14 (38:08):
The hormone aspect, every time I talk about it gets a lot of traction. And I believe my perspective on it is that we don’t necessarily associate alcohol with hormones. Right. Like it doesn’t Yes. Liver. Like I think we all know alcohol affects the liver. I think most people don’t really know what the liver does and how it affects the liver and what that means. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> in the scheme of things. But the liver is part of the reason why alcohol affects our hormones because our liver is really the main site of hormone production, hormone storage, and hormone metabolism. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what I always like to explain, and this is very fascinating to me, is that when we put alcohol into our system, it is a toxin. It is a product that, so the body goes, hell no, we gotta get this stuff out. Right? Yeah. So it puts a pause on everything else that the body’s working on and it says, uh, we have alcohol, we gotta get it out.
Right? The liver is going to put all of its normal processes on hold to manage the removal of alcohol. Now think about that. If we do that on a day after day after day after day, or a week after week after week after week basis, we are basically stopping the body’s normal processes from happening. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, now the body figures all of that out some way somehow because it keeps us alive, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But hormones are one of the really interesting areas because Yes. Uh, the liver being affected is going to deprioritize that normal hormone balancing. The other really interesting thing, and I was just talking to Megan from soba sisters about this mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that the reproductive system is the only system of your body that you can remove all of the organs in the organ system and still live. You can’t remove your skeletal system, you can’t remove your brain.
Speaker 1 (39:55):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I can attest to that. I no longer have a uterus
Speaker 14 (39:58):
<laugh>. Well, right. So you can have that system removed mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you can still live Now you’ll have effects from that. But the reason why is because anytime the body is in stress, it’s going to say, well, we have to worry about the stress that’s happening. We’re not worried about reproduction right now. Right. And this is something innate like from long ages and ages ago of Yeah. You know, if you are, uh, hunting for food back in the cavemen days, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you need to find the food and you need to feed yourself. You don’t need to reproduce. Right.
Speaker 1 (40:32):
Speaker 14 (40:32):
And so similarly, this is what happens in the body when we drink because the body says, eh, last thing I’m gonna worry about is a baby, because also the baby’s gonna be affected by this toxin. Right. Right. And it’s going to say, let’s shut down all these hormonal systems
Speaker 1 (40:48):
Because it’s not a priority. So Exactly. We can’t, we can’t afford to have a baby right now because our, our, our mainframe is going down <laugh>, so we gotta fix that.
Speaker 14 (40:57):
Speaker 1 (40:58):
Speaker 14 (40:59):
So yeah. And that’s one that people are like, oh, when you start to describe it, it makes a lot of sense. Right? Yeah. And I think that that’s where that conversation really intrigues people because we do know Okay. The brain is affected Okay. The liver. Right. And the gut is another big area that Yeah. I think some people recognize that if they drink their stomach gets upset or
Speaker 1 (41:23):
Yeah. I just heard like, it, it is called dad’s like day after drinking syndrome or day after drinking sickness or something like the bubbly like beer gut, like oh ear. Oh man.
Speaker 14 (41:35):
Speaker 1 (41:35):
Yes. We’ll call it. Oh my god. Yes.
Speaker 14 (41:38):
Alcohol’s an irritant. It’s gonna irritate the digestive system, but more from a long-term perspective, it changes the microbiome. So it’s going to affect our probiotics, you know, contribute to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut. And some of these bacteria actually feed off of alcohol. So they will send signals to the body that manifest as cravings for us to drink more. So the gut plays a role in that way, but also alcohol is very disruptive to the lining of the gut can contribute to something like leaky gut syndrome. Ooh. Where the lining of the gut starts to break down. That can affect things like our immune system can contribute to autoimmune disease, also systemic inflammation. So if there’s any type of inflammatory disorder that can be joint pain, that can be headaches, migraines. And any time of I’m working with a client or with those who are in my group, we always talk about the gut and how to start to recover and repair that when we stop drinking whether or not you have symptoms or not mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because those are the things that if they’re not addressed and rebalanced, they can cause issues. 10 years down the line,
Speaker 1 (42:51):
Episode number 18, Casey Davidson of the Hello Someday podcast.
Speaker 15 (42:56):
I told my girlfriend, she had a baby four months after me and I said, just so you know, and you can disagree with me or whatever, anyone listening, I said, every woman wants to divorce her husband when her kid’s six months old, six weeks old,
Speaker 1 (43:10):
<laugh>, six weeks.
Speaker 15 (43:11):
And she was like, that won’t happen to me. Maddie’s amazing, he’s wonderful, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, okay, just if it happens, it’s not
Speaker 1 (43:20):
No, it’s the normal. Yeah.
Speaker 15 (43:21):
You know, it’s normal. She called me at like six weeks, she had taken off with her baby to go to her parents in Arizona and she’s like, <laugh>, if I fucking knew I was gonna be a single mom, yada, yada, yada. And I was just like, yeah, right.
Speaker 1 (43:36):
There it is. Yeah. Because I, I, I think it all comes down to us and Sure. Not 100% of it, but like most of it comes down to moms because I think it has
Speaker 15 (43:49):
To, and a lot of times, like obviously moms get maternity leave and they stay home and oh my God, you need that? Oh yeah, you need that so much. But the assumption is, hey, I’m going to work so you stay up cuz I have to get a good night’s sleep. Like as if sitting in an office Right, right. In a meeting is harder than being with an infant for a 10 hour straight.
Speaker 1 (44:10):
It’s so true. Which
Speaker 15 (44:12):
Is all to say like, yes, of course we drink because we don’t, we aren’t getting what we need, which is help and support and time to decompress and time to work out ah, and understanding. Right. All those things you had to support your mental health before you had a kid. Yeah. Kind of go away and you’re just at the beck and call of someone who really needs you, but it’s like, oh my god, I can’t satisfy you ever.
Speaker 1 (44:39):
Yeah. It’s all so new and it’s so scary to be so in charge and Yeah. Of someone else. Like I said, my my youngest is three and I’m just now feeling like my body is mine again. Yeah. You know, after being pregnant and nursing three babies and like, just like getting to know this new body again. Like what? All of it. I, I think we, we just have to normalize that motherhood is hard and it’s okay for us to complain and vent and say it fucking sucks sometimes. Yeah. You can say that in the same breath and love your child endlessly. Yeah. Like we can do both because we have to be able to
Speaker 15 (45:21):
Yeah. And not only that, we need to stop being pushed to drink as a solution. Like the, the old joke is like, yes, the safest thing for a man to say when a woman is exhausted, angry, frustrated, whatever is here honey have a glass of wine. Right. Yeah. I think of it like a pacifier that people tell us and that we tell ourselves to shut us up.
Speaker 1 (45:47):
Oh my God. That’s so true. It is like a pacifier. It’s like, don’t feel just like, focus on this, escape in this and like, we’re only saying this because it doesn’t work. Yeah. Like if it worked, if it actually like was an escape and was healthy and helped de-stress and help, you know, help us sleep, help us like then great. Like yes. But that’s the thing is it’s a trick. Like we’ve been tricked and so that’s always my, my thing is just to be like, yeah, you guys, if it worked, yeah. Yeah. Guess what? It doesn’t, it actually makes all of this shit harder.
Speaker 15 (46:25):
It’s addictive. Like the substance is working as designed. You do go into withdrawal. Yeah. When you’re not drinking, you do feel worse. You do lower the dopamine in your brain so that you are not physically as happy, like chemically as happy as you would be if you didn’t drink. So it’s pushed on us. The substance works as designed and it increases your anxiety and messes up your sleep. And, and we’re brainwashed to not discuss that that happens.
Speaker 1 (46:57):
Episode number 26th, Megan of soba sisters,
Speaker 16 (47:03):
I didn’t even like myself, I didn’t love myself. I couldn’t even look in the mirror. So I started putting post-its everywhere, like, oh, telling myself,
Speaker 1 (47:10):
Speaker 16 (47:11):
They say? Yeah. So they would say,
Speaker 1 (47:12):
I wanna know, there’s
Speaker 16 (47:13):
A couple. One of ’em was, um, and I learned these from the course I was taking, but one was, um, I am not my past. I’m a person of dignity and honor and I love that one because we’re not defined by the worst things we’ve ever done. You know, the fact I almost missed Christmas morning one year doesn’t define me as a mom.
Speaker 1 (47:30):
Well, because that wasn’t you, that was the alcohol <laugh>. Right? Like if not for the alcohol, you would not miss Christmas morning. That was the alcohol. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 16 (47:40):
<affirmative>. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. So I just loved it, you know, but it, it took a while and then now I’m like, one day I remember just walking by the mirror and being like, oh, hey, I I like you. You’re,
Speaker 1 (47:51):
Yeah. You’re like, wait a second, you’re cute. Yeah. <laugh>. <laugh>.
Speaker 16 (47:55):
Yeah. Pretty much. Yeah,
Speaker 1 (47:57):
Totally. It’s totally like, yeah, the self-esteem comes back because you’re, you’re who you truly are meant to be and there’s none of that noise and nonsense and distraction.
Speaker 16 (48:11):
Yeah. It’s unbelievable. And even my relationship, you know, I’ve been in a relationship for the, for the last like four years and that’s completely changed. Like, oh gosh, there was so many nights we would go out to dinner and we would have the greatest time. I would spend so much time getting ready and try to look all pretty. But by the end of the night I would be either crying, I would like be, we’d get into the bed after this wonderful dinner and I would end up crying and falling asleep, crying. I would pick a fight. Yes.
Speaker 1 (48:40):
Speaker 16 (48:41):
From something that bothered me from a month ago and I’d be like, you remember that time like a month ago? Like,
Speaker 1 (48:46):
And he’s like, what are you talking about? Yeah. He’d be like, yeah. And then the fights. Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the unnecessary fights. Like those are just eliminated. I mean my husband and I still fight, but it’s not nearly as much and it’s also just like about real stuff.
Speaker 16 (49:02):
Yeah. Yeah. I can fight, I feel like in a good way now. Like I Yeah. Where
Speaker 1 (49:06):
Speaker 16 (49:07):
Yeah, I was afraid to fight because I was, felt so crappy about myself that I would just like be like, okay, yeah, we’ll okay, whatever you, but now I’m like, I usually will, I’ll stand up for myself so much more because I’m not questioning what I really did the night before. Cause sometimes I would forget or I wouldn’t remember half of our night so I didn’t wanna fight about it. Cause I’d be like, oh let’s see, I don’t even want, right. What did I say?
Speaker 1 (49:28):
And then you just feel like you’re in the wrong no matter what you’re like, oh, I was drinking, I must be wrong. Yeah. And it’s like e even if there are issues to work out, it’s that not trusting yourself and now you can trust yourself and your feelings and you know how you feel.
Speaker 16 (49:41):
That’s the best
Speaker 1 (49:44):
Episode 28, Celeste Yvonne of the Ultimate Mom challenge. Okay. So you have parented then while you were drinking and now sober. Like what’s, what is the biggest difference for you in being a sober mom versus a drinking mom?
Speaker 17 (50:03):
Yeah, you know, I think once you become a mother, energy becomes a currency. Right? And you have to decide where you’re gonna spend your energy and where you’re gonna conserve it and drinking and hangovers take up so much energy.
Speaker 1 (50:19):
So much. Yes.
Speaker 17 (50:21):
For me it, once I quit and got that energy back, I could really soak in and do a deep dive into the mother being the mother I wanted to be, which is more present, more energetic, you know, actually being able to get up off the couch and play with them, you know, when they wanted to or making it to, you know, the sports games they’re doing the things that I was too drained to do when I was nursing a hangover. Yeah. I love that. I can be that person for my, my kids now. Well there was a couple years where I wasn’t, and yes, I do still kind of feel some guilt around that
Speaker 1 (51:02):
Because you care. That’s another thing. Like guilt is just a signal that we care so damn much.
Speaker 17 (51:08):
And I think if anything, it’s a call to action to do better today. Yeah. Right. And that’s all we can do. You know, we, I talk a lot to mothers who have kids who are either teenagers or adults and they’re just starting their sober journey now and they almost feel like it’s too late. Mm. And I try to tell them like, now it now is the perfect time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> now is just right. You can still, you know, men’s relationships now you can still change your behavior and regain that trust now.
Speaker 1 (51:42):
And it could be like, okay, the perfect time might have been five years ago, the second perfect times today. Yeah. <laugh> like y you’re gonna look back in five years from now and be like, God, why didn’t I stop then?
Speaker 17 (51:54):
Yeah. And I think when I think about what kind of memories I want my children to have, I want them to have energized go getter mom. Yeah. Who is always there, uh, not, you know, laying in bed Sunday mornings Yeah. You know, two hungover to hang out and have breakfast. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don’t wanna be that mom. Not anymore. You know? Yeah. I tried that motherhood, it didn’t work out for me. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (52:22):
Yeah. And I think as moms, you know, we do think like, oh we’re just tired. We’re just, we just have a headache. We’re just o too old. Like you guys, you’re not old and it’s not just cuz you’re tired, it’s probably the alcohol. Right.
Speaker 17 (52:36):
I know. We, we let it off the hook.
Speaker 1 (52:38):
Yeah. Even if you don’t have like this like crazy hangover, I mean, you still feel the effects of alcohol in like your energy levels and Yeah.
Speaker 17 (52:49):
In everything, you know, I think about what I want for my children, you know, and as they get older, of course I don’t want them to rely on alcohol or drugs to get them through hard times. I don’t want them to use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. I don’t want any of that for them. So why was it okay for me? Yeah. If I don’t want that for my children, but I’m showing up as that every day, you know, what kind of example am I setting and that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that was another, you know, eye-opening moment for me is not only what are they gonna remember in mom if I’m always gripping my wine glass. Like I depend on it. Yeah. But what am I teaching them to do when they’re old enough to make their own choices?
Speaker 1 (53:35):
Episode number 32, with Shay Mitchell.
Speaker 18 (53:39):
No one else had told me, go to rehab, you’re, you have a problem. Right. It was not for anyone else. This time it was for me and I knew it and I knew I was done. And it was different this time. And so I knew I needed the tools because I was also not going to live this life miserable because I thought that alcohol was the only thing making my life fun.
Speaker 1 (53:57):
Speaker 18 (53:58):
Too. Still. So like, ugh, shit. So I have to get rid of the only thing that makes my life worth living. Right. So like I get better figure this out. <laugh>. I
Speaker 1 (54:08):
Just, yeah. The thing that is killing me does feel like the only thing that makes your life fun and worth living. Yes.
Speaker 18 (54:16):
Still. Even though I knew I was done, I still felt like I was letting go of the one thing that was helping me survive.
Speaker 1 (54:22):
Yeah. You believed that lie cuz we’re all tricked. We’re all tricked by it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, did you then go to AA? Or how does AA fit into your journey?
Speaker 18 (54:32):
Yeah, so I already had a therapist that I had been working with since the suicidal ideations, which I’m actually really grateful for. Cuz she kind of saw me through that relapse and then I got, got real honest with her. I told her, you know, I was like, okay, I admit it. I fully accept it. And then we were really able to start working on in more in-depth stuff too. Yeah. So that helped. I got honest with her. I got a psychologist because I needed to get on meds for depression, anxiety, some of those things that I was really using alcohol to cope with that I couldn’t get out of on my own. So I was on all those meds for about 15 months. I like to say that because I like people to know that that’s okay and that also is possible to get off of them.
Speaker 1 (55:08):
Totally. I’ve been on it for like almost seven years and I’m almost off of it and I’m like, terrified.
Speaker 18 (55:13):
And if you don’t ever get off, that’s okay too. Like, whatever you need.
Speaker 1 (55:18):
Yes. Whatever you need to be. Okay. And that’s the thing I always say, like if alcohol helped anxiety, like I’d be like, okay, yeah. That’s in your toolbox. It doesn’t. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> not only does it help anxiety, it makes it so much fucking worse. Like, so it’s causing anxiety. Yes. Like it makes it so much worse.
Speaker 18 (55:40):
People don’t believe it and you, it’s hard to believe until you’re out of it and you have to be out of it for a while. Exactly.
Speaker 1 (55:45):
Speaker 18 (55:45):
30 days to get back to baseline. And so like, you don’t even know the benefits of it for a minute. So you’re like, this is bullshit. This is bullshit. I just want my alcohol. I just want my alcohol.
Speaker 1 (55:53):
Yes. Even longer than 30 days. Like sometimes it, it takes as long as it takes, you will totally get there. Yeah. You just have to find your feet. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.
Speaker 18 (56:04):
And I needed craving medication too because that was the thing that kept on getting me, like, I felt like all the prior times, like, it’s hard to explain, but I just finally was like, you know what, I need a craving blocker. Like I really want that assistance. Yeah. And so I, I took it like, good, I’m, I’m taking that assistance. So I did the Vivitrol shot monthly for about 14 months too. And that was really just freaking nice to not have cravings for alcohol, to not have that. Yeah. I don’t know, like I still didn’t leave the house for a year. Covid helped, but I think even if I wasn’t in Covid, I wouldn’t have left the house for a year because I just needed to not be around anything.
Speaker 1 (56:42):
Yeah. But I like what you just said, that you didn’t leave the house for a year. Like the idea that like we have to test ourselves in new sobriety to see if we can like know they know. Like say, no, you don’t have to go. It’s okay. Because
Speaker 18 (56:57):
You will be able to go next year when you feel stronger.
Speaker 1 (57:01):
Yes. If you take the time to nurture your sobriety, you’ll be able to go. Now I love going to parties where everyone’s drinking because it’s so easy for me to romanticize alcohol when I’m not around it. <laugh> dude, give me a front row seat to alcohol and I’m like, oh my God. God,
Speaker 18 (57:19):
I remember you’re, yeah,
Speaker 1 (57:21):
You’re awful. Alcohol is awful. Episode number 34 with Lucy of the sober Brown Queen. It’s so true. Like when you’re drinking that stuff kind of just isn’t on the table. It’s not even like, it’s not like you’re washing your face when you’re passing out. You know? Like it’s Exactly right. I wasn’t, yeah. Yeah. And so like, you don’t realize how those little things add up when you’re drinking. But then also in sobriety, those little things add up to make you feel so like cared for.
Speaker 19 (57:52):
Cared for. Yeah. Like loving your own self, supporting your own self, having your own back and listening to the little clip that you put on your page about honoring your words missing. You do something, you’re going to do it. Yes. And that has made all the difference to me. I think it’s just that the relationship with me or knowing me, finding me again, that has been the best part about sobriety, is knowing me again. And not just knowing me, but loving me. Yeah. Because I don’t think I would be able to say that two years ago that I actually knew what it meant to love me and get my own back and honor my word and stand up for me. And now I can a hundred percent say I can do that and I’m still working on some stuff. Of course.
Speaker 1 (58:39):
Yeah. Of course.
Speaker 19 (58:40):
Friday doesn’t fix everything. Right?
Speaker 1 (58:42):
Speaker 19 (58:43):
But it gives us the time to actually go, you know, like get down into the things that we don’t wanna feel and a lot of those things for meals, just feeling Worthing, feeling like I belong, feeling like I deserve good things. And that’s what I’ve been working on right now is just being, feeling worth it. Feeling like I, I am enough. This is me. This is what you get.
Speaker 1 (59:04):
Speaker 19 (59:05):
And I am enough. You know, and that’s how I show up to the world. Yeah. That’s my work. And that has really changed my mindset about everything and how I do everything. I am worthy and I am enough and I am deserving. That’s my, my work.
Speaker 1 (59:21):
I have chills. I just love so much that, you know, you got to that place by removing something from your life. You didn’t have to add anything. Right,
Speaker 19 (59:32):
Right. I didn’t. I didn’t.
Speaker 1 (59:34):
Yeah. It was already there. It was already there. It’s just an uncovering and getting rid of the alcohol and like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, all of its lies. And then what are we left with?
Speaker 19 (59:46):
Right? Yes. It’s finding you again and in that process, because then the other question that comes up for me is, does your husband still drink? Right. And the answer to that was a few months ago he was still drinking and he’s never really struggled with it. He is like <laugh>, he takes a glass and he puts it down. And I used to think like, how is that possible? <laugh>? Yeah. Like you just live it, you
Speaker 1 (01:00:12):
Just gonna leave it there. Yeah. Right.
Speaker 19 (01:00:14):
You not gonna finish that. I’ll finish that for you. Right. No problem.
Speaker 1 (01:00:19):
Episode number 36 with Ketia of the Sober Elephant Chronicles.
Speaker 20 (01:00:24):
I started going to TLC meetings and actually turning my camera on.
Speaker 1 (01:00:28):
And that’s the luckiest club. That’s Laura McCowen. Did you start with her book? Is that how you found it? Or you just started I
Speaker 20 (01:00:35):
Actually found it through the Home podcast. That was the podcast. I started listening to it secretly at the gym. Oh,
Speaker 1 (01:00:41):
Speaker 20 (01:00:42):
In 2018 I found it.
Speaker 1 (01:00:44):
Okay, so this was before you stopped. You were even listening to it then? Oh yeah. Okay.
Speaker 20 (01:00:49):
I wanted proof that there were other women, especially who were making this work, who could actually go through life without alcohol. I was like, I needed to believe it and, and especially, uh, Laura and Holly are writers. I’m a writer. Like I wanted the other women like me doing it. And I think that’s important for anyone in recovery you wanna see.
Speaker 1 (01:01:10):
Speaker 20 (01:01:11):
And I do think like our community still needs more diversity to it.
Speaker 1 (01:01:16):
Yeah, for sure.
Speaker 20 (01:01:17):
There’s a lot of us over cisgender white women doing what we’re doing. Right. And, and I, yeah. Would love to see more diversity. Even like now seeing some of the men starting accounts as a couple and I’m like, this is great. Right.
Speaker 1 (01:01:32):
Yeah. Even though they’ve had their AA and they’re the ones who started it all, but Yes. In
Speaker 20 (01:01:36):
The beginning. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (01:01:38):
Yeah. To get more men on board with this kind of in between drinking with
Speaker 20 (01:01:43):
Not just one way. Right.
Speaker 1 (01:01:45):
Yeah. Not just the AA path. Yeah. I’m with you for sure. And definitely more diversity. Yeah. Yeah. So then you started going to TLC meetings. How was that? I went to one of those, I think early on too. I don’t think I turned my camera on.
Speaker 20 (01:02:00):
I couldn’t get sober until I started connecting, like turning my camera. I shared with my voice. I was so scared to do it because I, I just like, I still get nervous with public speaking, but like, yeah. My heart like literally felt like it was gonna beat outta my chest, but I was like, even though it was the least, you know, scary kind of of group, but I had to Right. And a bunch of people put their phone number in the chat and all this kind of stuff and I was like,
Speaker 1 (01:02:25):
Oh, that’s great.
Speaker 20 (01:02:26):
Tsia, you’ve been doing it this one way for this whole time and it’s clearly not working. Try a different way. Yeah. And so by starting to reach out people were so welcoming. I read Amy Krasner’s book, my Fair Junkie.
Speaker 1 (01:02:40):
That was so good. That was when she was on the streets of la, right? Yeah. Oh, that was so good.
Speaker 20 (01:02:47):
And so there was a few books. I, I’m a huge reader and I started all the money I’d been spending on drinking, I started ordering books and all these books and show up at the house and I Yeah. Started listening to podcasts. You know, kind of the same story that a lot of people have, but it still took a couple months of doing that. When I first started gonna the meetings, I’d have my camera off and I’d be drinking my wine and I’d be like, whatever. But, um,
Speaker 1 (01:03:08):
Yeah. But I feel like that was still a part of it, right? Yes. That was you kind of getting used to the idea of this. Like what is this new world? What does it look like? And let’s see if I can bring my old world into this new world. And then it became clear that you couldn’t, it’s all like an unfolding.
Speaker 20 (01:03:24):
I feel like It is. I feel like our stories, like of course there are very, um, significant rock bottom stories for sure. Yes. I definitely had an addiction. Like I had, obviously I had a physical addiction and I had a mental addiction to it. Yeah. But I don’t identify as an alcoholic. And I think there’s a huge, when I hear people’s stories, like there’s some variations in how they came into it, but a lot of us tried for a long time to figure out how to make it work. Because you are made to believe that that’s Yeah. That’s the way it works. Like that you can do that.
Speaker 1 (01:03:56):
No one talks about the party girl who turns into a mom.
Speaker 20 (01:04:00):
Speaker 1 (01:04:01):
And like, where does that go? You know, I was a party girl and I loved it. I was a bartender. I was, I worked in clubs mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I loved it. And there was something I got out of it. Right. You know, and so then you can’t just go from party Girl to then Mother Teresa, thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Sober Mom Life. If you loved it, please rate and review it wherever you listen. Five stars is amazing. Also, follow me on Instagram at the sober mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.
Speaker 10 (01:04:49):
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Right. Listen, wherever you find your favorite podcasts.